Taylor defends NZ's batting tactics 24 Sep 2012
Before the tournament had started, Taylor and coach Mike Hesson vowed there would be a flexibility to their batting order.
They took it to the extreme at the Pallekele International Stadium.
In the pursuit of nigh on eight an over, they instated a new set of openers. Rob Nicol and Kane Williamson replaced James Franklin and Martin Guptill, with the former sliding way down to seven and Guptill ruled out with a hamstring injury.
Sanity prevailed – briefly - with Brendon McCullum coming in next. But with a run rate that rising towards 10 an over, it was a shock to see left-handers Daniel Vettori and Jacob Oram walk out ahead of Taylor.
Taylor was left with too much to do at number six and his 26 off 11 balls hinted at an opportunity that had been blown by not bringing him in earlier.
That was a view, however, that the captain himself did not share.
"I could have got out first ball batting anywhere," Taylor said. "We wanted a right-hand, left-hand combination (with Vettori and Oram at four and five).
"I guess it's weighing it up on different surfaces, how you score runs. It's not all about bashing away and hitting fours and sixes, it's dot balls and trying to minimise those.
"We talked about Kane opening the batting before this game – it was no surprise to us. I don't think we lost it there.
"We dropped too many catches, we probably leaked a few too many runs in that first 10 overs (with the ball)."
One of the dropped catching culprits was Taylor, who shelled an absolute sitter in the first over off Kyle Mills when Mohammad Hafeez was on zero.
Hafeez went on to score 43 off 38 balls and rode that confidence to open the bowling with his off-spinners and tie New Zealand down with 0-15 off four overs.
Nevertheless, the closeness of New Zealand's loss means they are through to the Super Eights and their draw is not unfavourable.
They face hosts Sri Lanka on Thursday, England two days later and an as-yet unconfirmed opponent, likely to be the West Indies, on Monday before the semi-finalists are found.
All three opponents were also beaten in their last outings. Sri Lanka were outclassed by South Africa, England were thumped by 90 runs by India and the West Indies failed to keep Australia's top order in check.
Adding to the list of positives for New Zealand is the fact all three matches are in Pallekele, a venue they are now well used to after a pair of Group D matches there.
"We've played two games on this ground and I'm sure that will work in our favour in our next three games," Taylor said.
"The pitch did play different today and I'm sure we'll learn from that and have a bit of an advantage against our opposition.
"It was a totally different wicket (than against Bangladesh). It didn't really skid on as much as it did the other night. It spun a lot more, it was a lot drier."Source: Sportal
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